Olipop vs. Poppi- which is better? Olipop and Poppi are two “prebiotic soda” brands that have gained popularity over recent years, especially on social media.
I’ve been getting a LOT of questions lately about these drinks. Is Olipop healthy? Is Poppi better? Let’s dive into the science here and see which drink I recommend, and why. If you’re wondering whether or not these “healthy” sodas are actually healthy, you’re in the right place.
I’m Jamie, your Registered Dietitian guide to realistic healthy eating. Nutrition is not black and white and there are a lot of right ways to eat well.
Let’s get into these “healthy” sodas.
What are Olipop and Poppi sodas?
Both Olipop and Poppi are prebiotic sodas, but what does that mean exactly?
Prebiotics are a type of dietary fiber naturally found in plant-based foods like vegetables, grains, legumes, and nuts (1).
Prebiotic fibers can also be extracted and added to foods and drinks, like with Olipop and Poppi.
When these plant fibers reach your gut, we can’t actually digest them. Instead, they help promote the growth of helpful, good bacteria living within your digestive system because they can eat them.
PS: Prebiotics are not the same thing as probiotics: probiotics are the actual living organisms that may offer us a health boost (2). Prebiotics are their food.
Hot Tip: Most people aren’t getting enough fiber on a daily basis. Fiber has tons of benefits from improving digestive health and lowering disease risk to boosting mood and immune system, so you’re missing out on some impressive benefits if you’re not eating enough (3).
Since prebiotic sodas like Olipop and Poppi both contain fiber, so they can help fill the gap a little. Let’s get into the similarities, differences, and whether they’re worth including.
Olipop Nutrition Facts and Ingredients
Olipop has 35 calories, 2-5g of sugar, and a whopping 9g of prebiotic fiber per 12-oz serving.
Each can of Olipop includes “Olismart”, their in-house proprietary blend of functional ingredients. This list is a lot more packed than Poppi’s with ingredients like cassava root fiber, jerusalem artichoke inulin, nopal cactus, calendula flower, kudzu root, and marshmallow root.
Their sodas also include carbonated water, apple juice concentrate, natural flavorings, himalayan pink salt, and stevia (4). Let’s get into each ingredient.
- Chicory root fiber, cassava root fiber, and Jerusalem artichoke inulin are allprebiotic fibers that help promote a healthy gut microbiome and digestion.
- Marshmallow root isa plant with a natural ability to thicken liquid and can be soothing if you have a cough.
- Kudzu root is another prebiotic fiber source that’s touted as being beneficial for treating alcohol dependence, lowering blood sugar, and treating liver damage. But, all of those claims need a lot more research (5).
- Calendula flower has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compounds. It’s commonly used as an herbal tea.
- Nopal cactus aka prickly pear cactushas lots of potential benefits like antiviral, antioxidant properties and possible effects on regulating blood sugar.
- Stevia, apple juice concentrate, and cassava root syrup all add sweetness, without having a ton of sugar in each can.
- Himalayan pink salt and flavorings are added to round out the flavor in each can.
Please Note: Whenever functional herbs and ingredients are in the mix, it’s important to chat with your doctor. Some of these ingredients aren’t recommended to combine with certain medications.
Poppi Nutrition Facts and Ingredients
A 12-oz can of Poppi soda has 25 calories, 4-5g of sugar, and 2g of fiber.
Their ingredient list is simpler than Olipop and includes sparkling water, organic cane sugar, organic apple cider vinegar, organic agave inulin, natural flavors, lemon juice concentrate, and stevia.
- Agave inulin is a type of fiber. In the Poppi brand sodas, the amount of fiber is significantly lower at 2 grams per can (6).
- Natural flavors – theirs are derived from a proprietary blend of lemon, lime, orange, and other citrus oils.
- Stevia -as with Olipop, the Poppi drinks are sweetened with Stevia, a calorie-free, plant-based sweetener.
- Apple cider vinegar is the ingredient that sets Poppi apart from the Olipop sodas. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV for short) has been touted for a variety of health benefits, from treating heartburn to lowering blood sugar levels and even supporting weight loss (7, 8).
The studies for ACV typically have the participant consuming 1-2 tablespoons per day and measuring any meaningful change in their health.
According to their website, there’s about 1 tablespoon of ACV in each can of Poppi (9).
Does Olipop have caffeine?
Olipop and Poppi sodas are both naturally caffeine-free; this sets them apart from most sodas.
Can you drink Olipop while pregnant?
Olipop includes calendula flower in their proprietary blend, which is not recommended while pregnant (10). Because there are no long-term studies on the safety of Olipop ingredients during pregnancy, I always recommend that you check with your doctor before consumption.
The same goes for Poppi as well – Poppi has less functional ingredients to worry about, but it’s still worth asking your doctor first.
What does Olipop taste like?
Olipop has more of a flavored and sweetened soda water-esque flavor than regular soda, but it’s still pretty tasty in its own right.
Olipop comes in a variety of classic and unique flavors including root beer vintage cola, watermelon lime, cream soda, orange squeeze, cherry cola, lemon lime and strawberry vanilla.
Personally, my favorite flavor that I’ve tried is orange squeeze.
What does Poppi taste like?
Poppi sodas are sweet, but not too sweet. Surprisingly, you can’t taste the apple cider vinegar at all. Similar to Olipop, they’re not a complete soda dupe, but they’re really tasty in their own “healthy alternative” way!
Personally, I love love the grape flavor.
Poppi also has a flavor for just about everyone including grape, strawberry lemon, orange, cherry limeade, ginger lime, raspberry rose, watermelon, classic cola, doc pop, and root beer.
Does Olipop make you poop?
Olipop has a generous 9 grams of fiber per can, which may definitely promote some regular bowel movements. A word of caution, though, inulin fiber may also cause excess flatulence, bloating and/or diarrhea in some people (11).
Prebiotic soda vs regular soda
Prebiotic sodas have a pretty different ingredient list from traditional “regular” sodas like Pepsi, Sprite, and Dr. Pepper.
One of the biggest differences between of Olipop and Poppi and regular soda is the sugar content. A 12-oz can of Coke has a whopping 39 grams of sugar, while a can of one of these prebiotics only has roughly 2-5 grams per 12-oz can. That’s a big difference!
Regular sodas generally contain water, high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and artificial flavors. Most have artificial colors as well.
My approach to nutrition is flexible, and I have no problem with you (or me) enjoying sodas or diet sodas once in a while, but neither option is boosting your health.
These prebiotic fizzy drinks, on the other hand, might actually have a benefit.
Olipop vs Poppi: what’s the verdict?
Olipop has more “functional” ingredients with potential extra benefits and a lot more fiber per can. Poppi has less fiber, a much simpler ingredient list and uses apple cider vinegar which carries some unique potential benefits as well.
The positive: both drinks are a great way to get some extra fiber and flavor into your diet without the calories and added sugar found in regular sodas.
As with most food choices, moderation is key. I would recommend having a maximum of one can per day or just occasionally for a treat.
And keep in mind that neither Olipop nor Poppi soda is meant to replace healthy whole food fiber sources such as vegetables, fruits, and grains. Whole foods provide fiber, but also a ton of other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are essential for optimal health.
Both Olipop and Poppi can be considered healthier alternatives to regular or diet sodas, but they should not form the core of your diet or substitute the nutritional richness of whole foods.
Should you drink Poppi or Olipop?
My first question: do you like them? While they’re a cool soda alternative, they’re not a necessary product and you don’t need to force yourself to drink them just because they’re trendy.
Another thing to consider is your budget. They’re a tad pricey at $2.49 a can, so no need to go for broke to buy them.
They’re lower in sugar than most traditional sodas and have fewer “fake” ingredients than the usual diet sodas. But no matter what you choose, I recommend drinking any kind of soda in moderation!
If you would like to have some of the benefits of ACV without the cost, it is pretty simple to whip up a salad dressing at home and have a salad for lunch or dinner. Here is one of my favorite simple recipes: The Best Italian Sub Dressing (Quick and Easy!)- just sub in apple cider vinegar!
That’s a wrap
While it may be tempting to turn towards trendy prebiotic beverages as an easy solution, don’t forget that we have access to real, natural foods with far more beneficial nutrients and minerals than any soda could provide.
Remember that a balanced and varied diet is key to maintaining good health and well-being; no single food (or drink) is going to make or break your health.
Are you welcome to drink them in moderation if you like them? Yes!
Do you need functional sodas such as Olipop or Poppi? No.
Instead, opt for whole foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, and lean proteins that can preserve your health without breaking the bank. If you want an even easier way to begin your journey towards balanced nutrition, make sure to check out my guide – The Balanced Basics Handbook – where I cut through the TikTok, Instagram, and diet culture noise to reveal simple daily practices you can use for lasting change!
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